By Admin - Portland IWW, May 1, 2016
Portland, OR – In a historic move, workers at Portland-area fast food chain Burgerville announced at a rally in the Clinton Street Theater on April 26th that they were forming a union, the Burgerville Workers Union, in affiliation with the Portland branch of the IWW. They marched from the theater to the Burgerville location at Southeast 26th and Clinton to present their demands:
- an immediate $5 an hour raise
- affordable, quality healthcare
- a safe and healthy workplace
- fair and consistent scheduling with ample notice
- a supportive, sustainable workplace including paid maternity/paternity leave
- free childcare and transportation stipends
A typical Burgerville worker makes only $9.60 an hour, and is typically scheduled just 26 hours a week, just under the 30 hours a week which would make them eligible to receive benefits. That equals out to about $990 a month before taxes. To put that into perspective, the average apartment rent in Portland is $1,275 a month for a one bedroom apartment, and most apartment complexes require prospective tenants income to exceed 3 times the amount of the rent.
“Most people can’t even afford to have an apartment. In Portland, everyone knows that the cost of living is insane. It basically took me a second job to be able to have a place of my own. I couldn’t afford it with what Burgerville pays me,” said Greg, Burgerville worker and union member.
Other workers cited problems with management’s uncaring attitude toward their employees: “I need to be able to take a sick day without fear of retaliation,” stated Robert, a Burgerville worker at the Powell location.
The workers forming the Burgerville Workers Union represent a cross-section of the community – young people, seniors, mothers, fathers, students, and grandparents. They put passion into their work, and want to improve their workplaces for themselves, their co-workers, and the community.
“We’re trying to make Burgerville a better place – I just want to be able to do my job and be paid a living wage. This is going to make Burgerville better, by having happy employees that work hard and are proud of their jobs” said Debbie, Burgerville Worker Union member.
The Burgerville Workers Union is supported by the Portland IWW and endorsed by a coalition of local unions and community groups, including ILWU Local 5, IATSE Local 28, SEIU Local 49, Portland Association of Teachers, OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon, Portland Solidarity Network (PDXSol), Portland Jobs with Justice, Blue Heron Collective (Reed College), Portland Central America Solidarity Committee, Alberta Cooperative Grocery Collective Management, Hella 503 Collective, Marilyn Buck Abolitionist Collective and People’s Food Co-op.
To lend your support and solidarity, check out the Burgerville Workers Union website.
- PRISONERS ORGANIZE: Free Alabama Movement spreads to Virginia as prisoners take up IWW banner
- TEACHERS FIGHT BACK: Teachers, students, parents and others fight austerity across the United States
- HOUSING STRUGGLES: Portland Tenants United organize against eviction and displacement
- ....and more!
See attached, or view & share the issue online!
April 5-8th, 2016 ILWU Canada held their 34th convention at the Sheraton Guildford Hotel in Surrey, BC, Canada.
In attendance were 110 delegates joined by 12 international delegates including ILWU International President Robert McEllrath, ILWU International Vice President (Mainland) Ray Familathe, and ILWU International Secretary-Treasurer Willie Adams,
ILWU Local 13 President Bobby Olvera, Jr, and four delegates from ILWU Alaska Longshore Division,
International Transport Workers Federation President Paddy Crumlin, and delegates from the Maritime Union of Australia, the Maritime Union of New Zealand, including MUNZ National Secretary Joe Fleetwood.
ILWU Canada President Mark Gordienko announced that he will be retiring at the end of his current term. Delegates applauded his service to the union and President McEllrath presented him with a gift on behalf of the ILWU International.
At the end of convention, nominations took place, and the results are as follows:
President: Robert Ashton by Acclamation.
1st Vice President: Shawn Nolan by Acclamation.
2nd Vice President: Steve Nasby by Acclamation.
3rd Vice President: Romeo Bordignon and Dale McEachern running for the position. Election Results to follow.
Secretary-Treasurer: Bob Dhaliwal by Acclamation
Hours after the ILWU Executive Board’s endorsed Bernie Sanders for President on March 24, members were scrambling to help the union-friendly candidate who is who standing up for unions and the working class. During the next 48 hours, ILWU members heard union radio ads in Hawaii, joined massive rallies in Seattle and attended caucus meetings in Alaska.
Western winning streak
Support in those three states allowed Sanders to score decisive caucus victories on March 26 – taking 70% of the votes in Hawaii; 73% in Washington State and 80% in Alaska. A stunning upset victory came a week later in Wisconsin where Sanders defeated Clinton by 13 points. Another smaller victory came a few days later in Wyoming where Sanders won big again – giving him victories in 8 of the 9 most recent contests.
Challenges back east
The April 19 primary in New York is where pundits predicted Sanders would stumble. Clinton once held a massive 60-point lead in the Empire State that dwindled to just 6 points, making Sanders the eager underdog who chased Clinton during the final week with his message about fighting political corruption, Wall Street greed and empowering the 99 percent of Americans who work for a living.
Sanders faces another series of big East Coast primaries on April 26, including Pennsylvania and Maryland, before turning to Oregon on May 17 where Jeff Smith of ILWU Local 8 is helping members get informed, involved and organizing a rally at the union hall on May 3.
After Oregon, the scene will shift to California where a fierce battle is expected over the nation’s largest pool of delegates that will be decided on June 7. Polls show that Clinton’s big early lead in the Golden State is withering to just a few points.
Longtime Inlandboatmen’s Union (IBU) member Jeff Engels, is encouraging all ILWU members – especially those living in California – to “feel theBern.” On March 19 he helped form a group in Port Townsend, WA, that held a successful march of 200 Sanders supporters. The event was organized in just 12 days, working with local unions and native leaders. “If we can quickly pull something like this together in Port Townsend, I know members in California can do it,” said Engels. Keys to victory
Early voting by mail will account for nearly half of California’s ballots. Requests for a mail ballot can be made until May 30, and new voters can register until May 23. The same deadline applies for voters who wish to change their political party, which is important because only those who register as Democrats or choose “no party preference” will be allowed to vote for Bernie Sanders in the California primary.
ILWU International President Bob McEllrath is encouraging members to get registered and vote. “Bernie Sanders supports working class people, and he deserves our vote – whether we’re in a union or not. It’s not just for us, it’s about all of us.”
By DJ Acid Rick - Portland IWW, April 26, 2016
Compiled by x344543 - April 27, 2016
The following news items are culled from various other IWW (and other) internet news portals:May Day:
- Scranton May Day 2016 - By x379012, IWW Local 570, April 25, 2016
- Liverpool IWW Statement on the Hillsborough Verdicts - By staff, Liverpool IWW, April 26, 2016
- If Trump Wins, I Ain’t Going Back To Africa: A Decree Of Preservation and Refuge - By Keno Evol, The Organizer, April 20, 2016
- From here to there: how I became a Wobbly - By Juan Conatz, Libcom.Org, April 21, 2016
- Strike Back!: May Day 2016 - By Edinburgh Wobbly, IWW Scotland, April 21, 2016
- Congédié, puis expulsé du Canada pour avoir participé à une grève au Québec - By Staff, Syndicat Industriel des Travailleuses et des Travailleurs, April 13, 2016
- Strike Back!: Spring 2016 - By Edinburgh Wobbly, IWW Scotland, April 12, 2016
- Brève syndicale du 5 au 11 avril - By Staff, Syndicat Industriel des Travailleuses et des Travailleurs, April 11, 2016
- 15 at UPS | 15$/heure chez UPS - By Coeur de Bord, Libcom.Org, April 9, 2016
- Solidarité avec les coursiers et coursières à vélo de San Francisco - By Staff, Syndicat Industriel des Travailleuses et des Travailleurs, April 8, 2016
- Es kommt nicht immer auf die Größe an - Schreibe einen Kommentar, Lower Class Magazine, April 7, 2016
- Palmares des boss pourris. Inscris le tien! - By Staff, Syndicat Industriel des Travailleuses et des Travailleurs, April 6, 2016
- Prisoners Call for a National Strike on the Anniversary of Attica - By Neal Shirley, Mask, April 5, 2016
- Strike Roundup Day 1: Texas Prisons Shook by IWOC Initiated Strikes - By Staff, IWW Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee, April 5, 2016
- Brève syndicale du 28 mars au 4 avril - By Staff, Syndicat Industriel des Travailleuses et des Travailleurs, April 4, 2016
- Interview: Resisting the cuts in Dundee and across Scotland - By Edinburgh Wobbly, IWW Scotland, April 1, 2016
- Les Wobblies à travers le monde, Chronique de Mars - By Staff, Syndicat Industriel des Travailleuses et des Travailleurs, April 1, 2016
- Organizing im Callcenter - By Mark Richter, Sozialistische Zeitung, April 2016
Compiled by x344543 - April 27, 2016
The following news items may be of interest to revolutionary industrial workers:
- Truck Workers Jump-Start Union and Reverse Two-Tier - By Chris Brooks, Labor Notes, April 27, 2016
- Kuwaiti Oil Workers End Three Day Strike - By Homoud Halabi, Facts For Working People, April 22, 2016
- SEIU Caught While Attempting to Ink Sweetheart Deal with Airbnb - By staff, Stern Burger with Fries, April 22, 2016
- Garment workers’ strike jams Hosur Road for 7 hours - By staff, The Times of India, April 19, 2016
- The Anarcho-Syndicalist Initiative: Membership for Individuals and Existing Groups - By Mike K, Ideas and Action, April 18, 2016
- A love letter to Bernie - By Eric Forman, ROAR Mag, April 11, 2016
- "Stop Oppressing Us": Detroit Teachers Speak - By Eliza A. Webb, Truthout, April 11, 2016
- 'Up All Night' Protests Sweep France as 100,000 Join Pro-Democracy Movement - By Lauren McCauley, Common Dreams, April 11, 2016
- These Jimmy John’s Workers Were Fired Illegally. Five Years Later, They Might Get Their Jobs Back - By Dave Jamieson, Huffington Post, April 9, 2016
- Former Calavera Employees Fight Back Against Alleged Wage Theft - By Sydney Johnson, East Bay Express, April 8, 2016
- #NuitDebout: a movement is growing in France’s squares - By Sam Cossar-Gilbert, ROAR Mag, April 6, 2016
- Massive Day of Demos in France to Preserve Labor Rights - By Jennifer Baker, Revolution News, April 5, 2016
- Martin Luther King Was Assassinated On This Day in 1968—While Fighting For Unions - By Peter Cole, In These Times, April 4, 2016
- Dave Regan Plays Hide n' Seek with California Hospital Association - By staff, Stern Burger with Fries, April 1, 2016
- School Shutdown in Chicago Underscores Attacks on Public Education Nationwide - By Sarah Macaraeg, Truthout, April 1, 2016
- Chicago Airport Workers Join 9-City Strike Demanding Higher Wages and a Union - By Branko Marcetic, In These Times, March 31, 2016
- France: Tens of Thousands Protest Against Labor Reforms - By Erin Gallagher, Revolution News, March 31, 2016
- SEIU Heavy on the Ropes: Trouble Makers Gather in Chicago - By Cal Winslow, Counterpunch, March 31, 2016
- After "Friedrichs" Victory, US Labor Can't Take It Easy: We Have a World to Win - By Cedric de Leon, Truthout, March 30, 2016
- Against Activism - By Astra Taylor, The Baffler, Spring 2016
ILWU Local 13 member Vivian Malauulu scored an impressive election victory on April 12, defeating a well-connected incumbent and winning a seat on the Long Beach Community College Board of Trustees.
Malauulu won nearly 60% of the tally – soundly defeating her establishment-backed rival who resorted to anti-union attacks that flopped with voters.
“I am very, very proud of the clean and well-organized campaign that we ran – and am exceptionally proud of our team of committed volunteers,” she said. “Our campaign was fueled by a grassroots effort and propelled by good, old-fashioned hard work.”
Before the votes were counted, Malauulu shared some candid thoughts with supporters, acknowledging that she had never worked so hard for anything in her life – wearing out the soles on several pairs of shoes and carrying around piles of precinct folders.
“I spent every waking moment – and quite a few sleeping ones – trying hard to connect with the voters in our district.”
In addition to her work on the docks, Malauulu has been a teaching journalism classes on a part-time basis at Long Beach City College where she was active in the faculty union and the Trades Advisory Council.
Her formula for success was built on a winning strategy:
- She built a team of dedicated volunteers by drawing on years of relationships built through work with unions, churches, sports clubs, charities, and community organizations.
- She says support from the ILWU and her teacher’s union at Long Beach State were important – but worked hard to build a broad-based coalition.
- She organized a network of volunteers and rallied supporters to walk every one of the 54 precincts in her district at least once – some twice, and a few were visited three times.
- Thousands of calls were made to registered voters who also received mailings and email/text messages.
- They kept careful track of each contact with a voter, and followed-up with those who had questions or wanted more information.
- They attended numerous public events in order to contact voters and raise the campaign profile in the community.
- She tried to make her team of volunteers and supporters feel like they were part of a big, loving family. Efforts were made to consistently thank and appreciate volunteers for their work.
- She wasn’t afraid to ask for campaign donations. Like Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders, she built her campaign treasury on lots of small campaign contributions that added up to a powerful resource.
- She sought endorsements from respected community and political leaders, including Congress member Janice Hahn.
Malauulu thanked her longshore brothers and sisters for their support.
“The ILWU was very supportive of my campaign and hosted three fundraisers on my behalf. One was in San Pedro for our LA ILWU, one was in Long Beach for our LB ILWU, and then again the week before Election Day to kick off our Get Out the Vote efforts, which Local 13 President Bobby Olvera, Jr. spearheaded together with Latinas Lead California. Cathy Familethe, President of the Southern California District Council, distributed both an ILWU voter slate card and a personalized postcard mailer on my behalf that was sent throughout the college board district. The SCDC also hosted a member-to-member phone bank the day before Election Day where ILWU members who live in Long Beach were contacted by ILWU volunteers and reminded to vote.”
The victory on election night left her feeling grateful for everyone who made it possible.
“I want to express my deep, heartfelt gratitude to my tireless campaign team, my faithful supporters, my incomparable volunteers, my dedicated colleagues, my loyal friends, my ILWU brothers and sisters, my incredible students, my committed prayer warriors, my encouraging Mami, my loving husband, and my four precious children for running this campaign with me. I couldn’t have done this without you!”
By Ikemba Kuti - First of May Anarchist Alliance, March 25, 2016
On November 15th, 2015, police executed Jamar Clark in North Minneapolis, MN. Several witnesses claim that Mr. Clark was handcuffed and on the ground when he was shot in the head. Following the execution, an occupation of the 4th precinct police station took place on Plymouth Avenue.
The call for the encampment and occupation came from Black Lives Matter – Minneapolis. BLM-MPLS, is a part of the nation-wide organization of chapters that is backed by the Democratic Party of the same system that ensures black and brown communities are hyper- policed. BLM-St. Paul is not a part of the nation-wide organization, and has even been condemned for making Black Lives Matter as a whole “look bad” for simply chanting “Pigs in a blanket, fry ‘em like bacon…” while they are not a chartered chapter.
BLM-MPLS’ call for the encampment resulted in BLM organizers heading the movement with little to no democratic process until later in the struggle. The encampment also generated tensions arising from different agendas, ideologies, levels of anger, and an array of different tactics that different organizations and members of the community aimed to use.
The nationally connected Black Lives Matter-Minneapolis did, and does, great work at getting people to come out. Unfortunately, they also do great work channeling that revolutionary energy into their dogmatic nonviolent reformism due to an undeniable affiliation with the Democratic Party (the system), which must be noted by those interested in liberation of the people, and which is quickly revealed through research on those who are heading #CampaignZero (Black Lives Matter flow chart to attain a world with limited police terror).
Take note of campaign zero’s four person “planning team” these are important facts: “In 2014, Brittany helped bring community voice to the Ferguson Commission and President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing as an appointee to each. She’s been named one of TIME Magazine’s 12 New Faces of Black Leadership”1. This individual works directly for the president.
The remaining three are also heavily connected to non-profits such as Teach for America (TFA), which is also historically connected to maintaining the system. For example: TFA was recently given a grant to continue to project their brand through the media. Furthermore, another member of this four-person team was the other recipient; she is the director of St Louis TFA. TFA is, effectively, the leading edge of the neoliberal attempts to gut city schools and further hinder education equity, which in turn systemically hinders black and brown kids educational achievement under the guise of helping those kids.
As an anarchist, of African descent, I argue that we need revolutionary struggle controlled by the grassroots and not by top-down leaders. It was the domination of top-down leadership from BLM-Minneapolis, and their seemingly unconscious commitment to the system, that effectively steered Northside community militants away from 1) the encampment, 2) becoming further politicized, and 3) in playing any role in the organizing of their own communities self-determination. Their voices were effectively hushed; just as the system we function under has done for centuries to oppressed people of color.
TEXAS PRISON STRIKERS UPDATES:
UPDATE 1: Robertson Center is currently locked down due to the strike, despite denial by the TDCJ of such retaliatory actions. #EyesOnTexas
UPDATE 2: We have recently received news from someone incarcerated in TX that the TDCJ is threatening prisoners with a 20 day lockdown of the entire prison system statewide in an effort discourage the strike. 'If you don't work for free we'll put you on lockdown'. #EyesOnTexas
CONTACT: Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC), an affiliate of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), 816-866-3808, firstname.lastname@example.org
Houston, TX. In a historic action, members of the Industrial Workers of the World’s Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC) inside Texas prisons announced rolling prison strikes beginning this morning. As of 9:30 AM we have confirmed that Robertson Unit is on lockdown. Roach and Polunsky Units were on lockdown but have been released now.